News & Messages

An Afternoon Making Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Whenever I have a long meeting, I always need to be doing something with my hands. With work things, that usually means I’m taking minutes or notes, but with non-work meetings, I’m often knitting socks. I find when I’m just listening to a speaker that it’s tough to keep my attention on them. I also find it difficult to keep my attention going when I’m trying to meditate on something or when I’m praying. I end up making to-do lists. When I have a small task to do with my hands, my ability to concentrate on the speaker or prayer intention is much improved.

A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the Episcopal News Service about a group of Episcopalians in Indiana learning the art of pysanky as a means of hands-on prayer for Ukrainians. This sparked my interest immediately. I have been holding the people of Ukraine in prayer and want to continue to do so. Also, I had tried creating Ukrainian Easter eggs before and still had the wax and special stylus (called a kitska) in my attic. I just needed some new dyes.

Last weekend I set everything up, mixed the new dyes, and invited a couple of my neighbors over to make them with me. The kit that I have shows you step-by-step how to do some of the designs. You put some beeswax in the stylus and heat it over a candle. Then you use the stylus to apply wax to the eggs. We learned quickly that it’s not easy to draw straight lines on an egg. We drew the first images on the eggs, then dipped them into a light-colored dye. Then we applied the next stage of the design and dipped the egg into a slightly darker dye. You keep repeating the process until you complete the design. It’s a craft that takes some practice to get the wax to go where you intend it to go. Most of the designs you put on the egg symbolize something different. For example, a deer means prosperity, a circle or continuous line around the egg symbolizes eternity, a triangle means the Trinity, and a fish symbolizes Christ.

When you finish dyeing the eggs, you heat them to melt the wax and then you wipe off the wax. The beeswax I have gets black from soot after holding the stylus over a candle, so the image is quite hard to see before you melt off the wax. That also means that it’s quite something to wipe away the wax and see the brightly colored symbols come to life.

After my neighbors left, I spent some time alone making a couple more pysanky while praying for peace in Ukraine, for the people who are fleeing Ukraine, and for those who are responding with help to the crisis. It might be a couple of weeks early to be making Easter eggs, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sara Bitner
Communications Officer

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Posted by Sara Bitner

Message from Bishop Lee on the attacks in Ukraine

Dear Friends in Christ,
In the face of the violence erupting in Ukraine, I ask you to join me in praying for peace and the protection of all who are at risk. This Sunday we will hear once again the story of the Transfiguration of Christ, a story that tells us about the nature of true power, the revealing of God’s glory in Jesus, the unveiling of the love and mercy of God. The power of violent coercion and control will never have the final word — even the cross could not accomplish that. Even death is not the final word. The love of God has already conquered the worst evil that human beings can inflict on one another. All our hope is in the deathless love of God.
Let us pray for peace.
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 815)

The Rt. Rev. Jeffery Lee
Bishop Provisional of the Diocese of Milwaukee

Posted by Bishop Jeff Lee
Tags: prayer, peace

Lenten Resources for Home Use

Lent will begin this next week with Ash Wednesday on February 17.  We've compiled several resources for you that are especially well-suited for at-home use this year. 

Life Transformed – The Way of Love in Lent

The journey through Lent into Easter is a journey with Jesus. We are baptized into his life, self-giving, and death; then, we rise in hope to life transformed. This Lent, communities are invited to walk with Jesus in his Way of Love and into the experience of transformed life. Together, we will reflect anew on the loving actions of God as recounted in the Easter Vigil readings. Together, we will walk through the depths of salvation history into the fullness of redemption. 

Click here to access an Adult Forum curriculum, a Quiet Day curriculum, calendars and posters. 

Living Well Through Lent 2021: Listening with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind

Designed for use as an individual reflection or for group study, this Living Compass resource is a daily devotional that provides a foundation for seeking a deeper experience of Lent, an experience that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Easter. Available in both print and electronic editions here. A free downloadable facilitator guide for group use is also available. To learn more or to order, visit:

Lent Madness 2021

Lent Madness, the Lenten activity that allows you to get to know some amazing people who have come before us in the faith, begins Thursday, February 18. Thirty-two saints are placed in a tournament-style single-elimination bracket. Download the bracket, sign up for email updates and learn more by visiting

You can also fill out a bracket online on this Lent Madness fan site:

Reflections on the Stations of the Cross 

Episcopal Migration Ministries offers an audio compilation of its Reflections on the Stations of the Cross. This resource is appropriate for prayer at home and in congregations. The audio compilation features the liturgy of the Way of the Cross from the Book of Occasional Services, alongside meditations on each station. Thank you for praying with us. If you’d like to follow along, you may request the Reflections booklet here

You can also sign up to receive daily devotions from Episcopal Migration Ministries. They will be sent to your email daily. 

Journey to the Cross with d365

The d365 devotions are written by ministers, professors, students, teachers, missionaries, denominational leaders, and others who work with and care for students. These devotions are available year-round, but they offer a special Journey to the Cross series from Ash Wednesday through Easter.


Lent at Home Benedictine Practice

The Diocese of Northern Michigan created a Lent at Home booklet in the style of Benedictine Prayer, with adaptations of two of the “lesser hours” said during the day in the Benedictine tradition: Terce (said around 9:00 a.m.) and None (said around 3:00 p.m.).

Care for the Creation Ideas

Fast from Single-Use Plastics

Challenge yourself to turn from the sin of damaging God’s planet and work to preserve the earth. Green Anglicans offers several challenges to help you learn where you can make sacrifices and improve our attempt to protect and nurture Mother Earth through actions such as fasting from single-use plastics and carbons or reducing our food waste. Find more information and calendars with activities and actions here.

Track your Carbon Footprint

Another way you can develop more mindfulness about how your lifestyle and choices that you make impact the environment this Lent is to track your carbon footprint. The Carbon Tracker from The Episcopal Church is a web-based application that helps individuals, households, congregations, and even dioceses to measure their carbon footprint and take steps to shrink it to fit a sustainable life.  Click here for access to the carbon tracker.